Cable dramas all have their signatures: an aesthetic (Mad Men), a particular dialogue style (Luck, Game of Thrones), a gleam (everything on USA, Dexter). And there’s nothing wrong with go-to moves — Breaking Bad’s impossible camera angles and Doctor Who’s weird production values are fundamental to those shows. Somehow, in just two seasons and change, Justified has amassed little of all of this. The show — a great show! A show we thoroughly enjoy! — has a surprising number of hallmarks, especially for a series that’s so often unpredictable and sharp. Thus, a drinking game. Here’s to you, Elmore Leonard, and here’s to Justified. Pass the apple pie.
Someone is addressed by his or her full name, “Hello, Dickie Bennett.” “Well, if it isn’t Raylan Givens,” etc.: Small sip
Someone endures a facial laceration or bloody nose: Small sip
Raylan winces while talking about something or someone he doesn’t like: Tiny wince-y sip
Raylan outsmarts everyone: Sip
Shots fired!: Shots
Punches!: Drink a Hawaiian punch. This happens in every episode.
You recognize a guest star from his (or her, but probably his) work on another prestige cable drama like Mad Men or The Walking Dead: Finish half your drink.
This guest star has facial hair in Justified, but did not on the previous show: Drain it.
This new character’s name ends in Y or IE: Pour another, toast them, and drain it.
A line of dialogue makes you genuinely laugh out loud: Cheers with those around you, and drink.
You hear the sound of tires on gravel crunch-a-crunch-a-crunching at the beginning of a scene: Drink.
A scene is framed through a car window or windshield: Drink.
Through the other car window, you can see some terrible green-screen effect: Drink more. It helps suspend the disbelief.
Close-up shot of liquor glurging into a glass: A drink of whatever they’re pouring.
Someone’s entire neck tattoo is visible: Drink.
Someone takes more than one second to pronounce “Raylan”: Drink a girly drink; it was probably a female character.
Dickie cries: Just take a deep breath.
Another bad guy cries: Drink.
Both Rachel and Tim actually have lines in the same episode: Chug.
An episode passes the Bechdel test: Chug.
Boyd’s top button is unbuttoned: Chug.